West Palm Beach Hurricane Damage Lawyer
Dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane is never a fun situation, and the stress and frustration often mounts when it comes to figuring out what was damaged, what (if anything) is safe, and what exactly your insurance covers. The last thing you want to have to deal with is an insurance company that denies your claim, especially when you were sure that you paid for full coverage. After a hurricane hits, the emotional stress can be incredible and push many people to the breaking point. This is when hiring the right property law attorney is critical to make sure you get what you need.
What You Need to Be Aware of Before Suing
While you are certainly entitled to your day in court if an insurance company fails to hold up their promised coverage, make sure that's the situation you're in before spending money on an attorney. One of the most important things to figure out is if your policy actually covers hurricane damage or not.
Most of the time, damage from things such as wind and lightning are covered, but the problem comes with flooding. Flooding is often not covered under a basic homeowner's policy, and that can include any type of rising water, even tidal waves or other things you might not consider conventional flooding. Many lawsuits result from arguments over what is water damage (not covered by insurance) and what is non-water storm damage that is covered under a policy. Cases from Hurricane Sandy are still being wrestled over on this very issue, as reported by Courant.com.
Who Takes Care of Hurricane Damage Claims?
When legal action is needed to take care of a client who isn't getting the payout they should, you find a situation where an attorney will need to sue an insurance provider in civil court. This means you're looking for a talented and experienced property damage attorney who understands the ins and outs of this type of civil lawsuit, and how to take on insurance companies who refuse to take their responsibilities seriously.
What Do You Need to Bring to Your Attorney?
You need to bring any records you have of your insurance policy. If you have a copy of the original paperwork, that's ideal. You want any phone records you have talking to your insurance company and you need to keep a detailed account of any meetings, conversations, and other communication with you and the insurance company.
In addition to these records, you will also want to make a list of:
- All damage from the storm, including as much video evidence and picture evidence as possible
- Notes on everything you're noticing on the property post-hurricane, no matter how insignificant it might seem
- Anything else the attorney asks of you for the case
Not Every Case Is the Same
When it comes to any case, it's always impossible to predict with 100% certainty what the final result will be. In addition to the unique circumstances that come with every single case, and the different insurance policies involved, different states may have laws or policies regarding how lawsuits can take place in civil court and how the evidence burden is placed.
No one should attempt to try their own case in civil court. Not only do you need a professional attorney who knows how to defend your rights, but as International Business Times reports on case examples where even a talented attorney will need to be extremely skilled to handle the burden of proof and proper procedure to prove their case in civil court.
As reported by Nola, sometimes major settlements do result in payouts, but in class action lawsuits, these are often greatly diminished. Because of this if a good deal is offered and your attorney advises you to take it, it's a consideration that needs to be made.